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I don't yet have over 2000 rep on Stack Overflow so I can't edit at will there. At this moment I have 26 approved edits and 1 that's been rejected, so I think my account is in good standing. However, there are certain questions for which the edit button is not available, whatever I try.

Maybe it's because someone else is already editing them, I don't know, but it's incredibly confusing. I'm forced to keep double checking to see if I still have the right to edit. I tried refreshing some questions in the hope that the edit button would magically reappear, but nothing happened.

Why not show me the button, but have it grayed out, with a message explaining why I can't edit the question? Otherwise, it's just going to frustrate me, and probably others that are in my situation.

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5  
You know, I can see how this sucks, but on the other hand, if your request is granted, someone will be here on MSO within the hour to say "hey, why are you wasting my time with the edit button when I can't even submit an edit?" –  Pops May 13 '11 at 18:45
    
@PopularDemand: damn it, I didn't think of that. Well, since I'm not that far from 2k, maybe I can just live with it. –  alex May 13 '11 at 18:49
    
@PopularDemand It's taken two years, but I've just noticed lots of grayed-out edit links in all metas where I haven't attained full edit privilege (all except this one). Similar to alex, I'll live with it... –  Mark Hurd May 19 '13 at 12:12
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4 Answers

up vote 35 down vote accepted

Starting with the next build...

When a registered user (< 2k rep) cannot suggest an edit we will gray out the edit link instead of removing it. The tooltip text will explain why an edit cannot be suggested.

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yay, I'm not a fan of making controls disappear like that –  Ben Brocka Jul 6 '12 at 19:19
    
Gray out...? How is that different from what we already see by default? (Not an entirely serious comment of course.) –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 7 '12 at 2:43
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@BoltClock more gray, further out. –  Kevin Montrose Jul 7 '12 at 3:33
    
Much further out. –  Kevin Montrose Jul 10 '12 at 22:35
    
Can the retag link also be grayed out under the same circumstances, rather than disappearing? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/140467 –  gobernador Jul 20 '12 at 3:35
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Apparently, the tooltip states "Account is not allowed to suggest edits". Can we provide some more detail? –  Arjan Jul 24 '12 at 11:00
    
why is the retag button still invisible? –  Jakob Weisblat Aug 5 '12 at 19:04
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It looks like the reason you aren't seeing an edit button is one of the following:

  1. A large number of suggested edits by you were rejected in the last day (absolute value) - if banned you will be banned for a week.

  2. We are out of empty slots in the queue (currently 200)

  3. There is an edit to a particular post that was not approved yet.

However, I think it's completely reasonable to suggest a help text, even if it doesn't tell you which of the reasons it is, it should tell you what they could be.

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I've seen that answer, but it doesn't really help me figure out what's going on. And it's still frustrating. –  alex May 13 '11 at 18:41
    
Furthermore, I have no idea what the queue is. Is it some mystical place that all edits go before they're stamped as approved and ready to be set loose? –  alex May 13 '11 at 18:54
    
@alex - Yep. Only 20 pending suggested-edits are allowed to pile up on the entire site at any given time. –  NickC May 13 '11 at 19:17
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in that case, it makes no sense whatsoever. Why can I see the edit button on some questions while not on others? It's either there everywhere or not at all. –  alex May 13 '11 at 19:22
    
@alex - That's just one of the reasons. See also #3 –  NickC May 13 '11 at 19:23
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I think it's bad usability to hide the edit post ocassionally without telling users why. Since I'm a <2000 rep user I cannot check whether a post is already being edited or if the edit queue is full for example.

In my opinion the edit link should always be displayed. When the user clicks on it and it's not possible to start the edit then the reason for this should be displayed. Alternatively, the link can be grayed out but the reason for this should still be visible somewhere.

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I have to agree with this. I'm a 'veteran' user, but I still got caught out by this recently. In general I prefer hiding unavailable functionality, but in this case I think it's bad usability - especially when it's visible on some posts but not on others. –  Benjol Apr 26 '12 at 13:53
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I don't know if it's just old questions being dug up because of new ones, but there seems to be a lot of questions on the front page lately about confused users due to the edit link being missing. Implementing this would help a lot, especially if the error messages are descriptive enough and link to How do suggested edits work?.

  • The queue of suggested edits is full. You must wait for it to empty before suggesting edits.
  • You have had too many of your suggested edits rejected recently. You must wait X days before being able to edit again.
  • There is a pending edit to this [question|answer]. No edits can be made until it is completed.

And so on.

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